Medieval Pottery Research Group

Medieval Ceramics 26–27, 2002–2003
Contents and Abstracts

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Medieval Ceramics 26–27

A4, 167 pages, colour and monochrome plates


Contents

Editorial
Lucy Whittingham and Stan Cauvain
1
The excavation of a medieval ceramic production site and tile kiln at Weald View,Noak Hill, Essex
Frank Meddens et al
3
Sourcing Scottish white gritty ware
Richard Jones, Bob Will, George Haggarty and Derek Hall
45
Medieval pottery from manufacturing sites at King Street, Duffield and Burley Hill, Duffield, Derbyshire: a summary report
Chris Cumberpatch
85
Surrey whiteware clays; some recent research into a likely source
Bob Newell and Mike Hughes
101
A later 17th-century assemblage of Ashton Keynes ware from Somerfield Keynes, Gloucestershire
Ed McSloy
105
The Cistercian ware products of Ticknall, south Derbyshire
Anne Boyle
113
Some domestic ceramics from the site of Henry Doulton's drain pipe factory at Lambeth Bridge House, Lambeth, London SE1
Chris Jarrett
119
Sparrowpots in Greater London
Don Cooper
125
A late 15th-century manufactory of the Brill/Boarstall pottery industry at Ludgershall, Buckinghamshire
Paul Blinkhorn and M John Saunders
131
 

Reviews

David Gaimster and Roberta Gilchrist (eds) The Archaeology of Reformation 1480-1580 (Roy Stephenson)145
Barbara J Lowe Decorated Medieval Floor Tiles of Somerset (Ian M Betts)145
Terence P Smith 'Architectural Terracottas' in Barney Sloane and Gordon Malcolm, Excavations at the Priory of the Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, Clerkenwell, London (Nicholas Riall)146
 

News

John G Hurst and medieval ceramics - a Bibliography154
A review of the 9th European Association of Archaeologists conference (Maureen Mellor)162

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Abstracts

The excavation of a medieval ceramic production site and tile kiln at Weald View, Noak Hill, Essex

Frank Meddens, Ken Sabel, Anthony Akeroyd, Geoff Egan, Tim Horsley, Lynne Keys, Paul Linford, Roderick Mackley, Andrew Payne, Nick Walsh, Martin White, David Williams and Peter Wilson

The discovery of ceramic wasters at Paternoster Row, Noak Hill in the London Borough of Havering led to the identification of a Mill Green pottery and peg tile production site. The Mill Green material is surprising as its principal production centre is located at Mill Green in Essex. The investigation, subsequent analytical work and publication was the result of a collaborative project involving the Rochford Hundred Field Archaeology Group, Pre-Construct Archaeology, English Heritage and Newham Museum Service with assistance of the British Museum. A tile kiln was located using non-invasive geophysical surveys and was sampled in excavation. The paper details the characterisation of the pottery and tile assemblages, the tile kiln and discusses details of the production process, distribution, and market penetration of the products of the site.


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Sourcing Scottish white gritty ware

Richard Jones, Bob Will, George Haggarty and Derek Hall with contributions by Joan Walsh and Ann Marchand

Following on from the successful pilot study funded by Historic Scotland which assessed the previous work and analyses carried out on Scottish White Gritty Ware pottery, a major investigation of the Scottish White Gritty Ware industry was initiated by Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division and funded by Historic Scotland. The project set out to examine the range and type of vessels, the production areas and chemical composition of the clays used in the production of Scottish White Gritty Ware. The chemical and petrographic analyses aimed to identify the source or sources of the pottery and its distribution within Scotland.

Over six hundred sherds of pottery from over forty Scottish archaeological sites were evaluated by chemical analysis using ICP, combined with the petrographic examination of a selection of thin sections. Also undertaken as part of the project were the construction of a Scottish White Gritty Ware vessel typology, a limited programme of clay prospection, a review of past scientific work, glaze analysis, chemical comparisons with English and Continental material and a geophysical survey of the Scottish White Gritty Ware kiln site at Colstoun in East Lothian. The petrographic analyses were carried out on the existing thin section collection housed in the National Museum of Scotland and newly prepared examples from sherds especially selected for the study. The results of the analyses have pointed to the production of White Gritty ware in several areas of Scotland from the Scottish Borders to the Moray Firth and have identified those geographic areas that require further research and excavation.

This study has put together the largest and one of the most significant datasets for any Medieval European ceramic industry and has created a major platform for any future work on Scottish ceramics.


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Medieval pottery from manufacturing sites at King Street, Duffield and Burley Hill, Duffield, Derbyshire: a summary report

Chris Cumberpatch

This paper is a summary of reports on two unpublished pottery assemblages from manufacturing sites in Derbyshire. King Street, Duffield and Burley Hill have been known for a number of years from interim reports and references in reports on material from other sites but have not previously been published in any detail. The data presented here was collected as part of a wider project to create a ceramic reference collection for north Derbyshire and South Yorkshire (ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/specColl/ceramics_eh_2003/). The reference collection database contains photographs and additional details of individual vessels and fabric types. The full text of both reports has been deposited with local museums and with the Derbyshire County Sites and Monuments Record. It is also available on the project website.


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Surrey whiteware clays; some recent research into a likely source

Bob Newell and Mike Hughes

This note describes recent research into the likely source of white-firing clays used in the medieval Surrey Whiteware industry. White-firing clay samples from Claypit Wood, Farnham Old Park are compared, using ICP-AES analysis, with samples from the medieval production centre at Eden Street, Kingston upon Thames. The clay sample is also tested for its potting qualities, plasticity and the range of temperatures at which it can be fired to produce both earthenware and stoneware vessels.


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A later 17th-century assemblage of Ashton Keynes ware from Somerfield Keynes, Gloucestershire

Ed McSloy

Archaeological work ahead of housing development at Somerford Keynes, Gloucestershire found a pit containing an assemblage of late 17th-century pottery, almost exclusively products of the Ashton Keynes kilns. The site lies in the adjoining parish to Ashton Keynes, Wiltshire, well-known as a producer of glazed earthenware pottery, and particularly important in the supply of utilitarian vessels to Cirencester and Gloucester between the 16th and 18th centuries. The composition of the group mirrors closely that of the urban markets and, with the addition of a 'chicken feeder' form is a likely representative of the kiln repertoire from/in this period. The dominance of Ashton Keynes products in this group, which includes a number of seconds, suggests that local domestic requirements for ceramic could be met almost entirely by the nearby kilns.


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The Cistercian ware products of Ticknall, south Derbyshire

Anne Boyle

Field walking on various sites at Ticknall, South Derbyshire, has revealed several clusters of kiln fabric and wasters. The pottery industry at Ticknall is thought to have spanned from the 15th to the 19th centuries. At least two kilns at Ticknall produced Cistercian and Midlands Purple wares. Emphasis will be placed on the Peat's Close kiln, which appears to be one of the earlier Cistercian ware producers in the village. The Ticknall pottery is compared here to the Cistercian ware products of Yorkshire. A fuller account of the Ticknall Cistercian wares will be included in the author's PhD thesis.


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Some domestic ceramics from the site of Henry Doulton's drain pipe factory at Lambeth Bridge House, Lambeth, London SE1

Chris Jarrett

Excavations at Lambeth Bridge House, Lambeth, London uncovered Henry Doulton's late 19th-century stoneware drainpipe factory. Detailed in the main publication of the site were the products of this factory and earlier 18th-century stoneware and delftware wasters, but information on the domestic ceramic component of the site was unfortunately omitted. The aim of this paper is to briefly describe the unusual pottery types and forms recovered from features associated with the 16th to 18th-century occupants of the site. In particular two dishes are of interest, firstly as Werra slipware featuring a stag design and the date 1608 and secondly as Portuguese faience with a Chinese style Wan-Li border and central design of a hare, dating to the second quarter of the 17th century.


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Sparrowpots in Greater London

Don Cooper

This article describes in detail a redware ceramic bird nesting pot. This unusual form of vessel which was in use over a long period of time between 1527 the earliest known and 1842 the last known record of one being made, occurs mainly in London where over 60 have so far been identified. Its purpose was to enable sparrows to breed so that the fledglings could be taken via a hole in the base of the vessel. Although previously considered to be of Dutch origin, all the London vessels were made locally. As well as sherds found in excavations, the vessels are well attested to in contemporary literature and paintings.


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A late 15th-century manufactory of the Brill/Boarstall pottery industry at Ludgershall, Buckinghamshire

Paul Blinkhorn and M John Saunders

A desk-top study, evaluation and small excavation on a small site on the northern margins of Ludgershall led to the discovery of a large quantity of kiln waste comprising both pottery and tiles. This indicated the existence of a hitherto unknown production site of the Brill/Boarstall pottery tradition. Its mid to late 15th-century date makes it the only known manufactory of the period at the present time. This report includes a detailed analysis of the pottery, together with illustrations. Also described are two areas of metalling and a possible wall foundation. No kiln structures were discovered during the excavation.


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Scottish white gritty wares